Eugenia melocactoides

Parra-O, Carlos, 2021, Thirteen new species, new records, and a new combination on Colombian Myrtaceae, Phytotaxa 497 (3), pp. 175-210 : 186-188

publication ID 10.11646/phytotaxa.497.3.1

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scientific name

Eugenia melocactoides


5. Eugenia melocactoides C. Parra-O., sp. nov.

Type :— COLOMBIA. Cundinamarca: Medina , “vereda San Cristóbal Bajo, carretera que va a San Juanito o a Gazatavena, trocha a mano derecha de esa carretera ubicada a aproximadamente tres minutos a pie desde el comienzo de esa carretera”, 4°25’03.3’’N, 73°18’41.8’’W, 393 m, 15 May 2016 (fr.), C. Parra-O. 883 (holotype COL 611696 View Materials !, isotypes COL 612316 View Materials !, CUVC!, HUA!). Figures 6 View FIGURE 6 , 7 View FIGURE 7 a-c GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis:—This species is most similar to Eugenia multicostata D. Legrand (1961: 309) , from which it is distinguished by having broadly ovate or elliptic to broadly elliptic leaves (versus obovate leaves in E. multicostata ), inflorescences axillary (vs. terminal), inflorescences abbreviate racemes with the main axis inconspicuous (vs. pseudoracemes sensu Lorenzi et al. 2015), pedicel terete (vs. compressed), and calyx lobes in fruit 1.5– 3 mm (vs. 6–7 mm).

Description:—Tree, 6–14 m tall; hairs when present 0.1 mm, simple, drying golden brownish; young branches compressed, light brown, glabrous; old branches terete, pale gray, glabrous. Leaf blades broadly ovate or elliptic to broadly elliptic, 9–16 × 5.3–9.5 cm, slightly coriaceous, discolorous, the upper surface glabrous, with slightly raised glandular dots perceptible (using hand lens) and darkish, the lower surface glabrous, with slightly raised glandular dots; apex attenuate to acuminate, the acumen (0.7) 1.2–2 cm; base rounded or cuneate; margin entire; midvein slightly sulcate or sulcate to flat (at least in distal 1/3–2/3) and glabrous above, markedly convex and glabrous below; lateral veins 7–13 pairs, convex and glabrous above, convex and glabrous below, marginal veins 2, the innermost markedly arched, 2.5–14 mm from the margin, the outermost 0.8–3 mm from the margin; petioles 0.9–1.2 cm long, blackish above and below, moderately rugose, glabrous, canaliculate adaxially. Inflorescences apparently at leafless nodes, axillary, abbreviate racemes with the main axis inconspicuous; bracts ovate, 1.4 × 1 mm, glabrous, persistent after anthesis; bracteoles not seen; flower buds and open flowers not seen. Fruits globose-depressed, (2.6) 3.1–4.2 × (2.4) 3–4 cm, glabrous, 15–18–ribbed, pedicellate, the pedicel terete, 4–6 × 2–7 mm, glabrous, calyx lobes in fruit 4, depressed ovate to broadly ovate, 1.5–3 × 2.5–4 mm, coriaceous, glabrous outside, not seen inside, apex obtuse or subobtuse, light greenish outside and sometimes with reddish spots; seed 1–2, ellipsoid or globose, 1.6–2.4 × 1.2–2.1 cm, seed coat smooth and somewhat lustrous, cream (in scheda); embryo eugenioid with fused cotyledons and no visible hypocotyl, with minute glands.

Distribution, habitat and phenology:— Eugenia melocactoides grows in tropical lowland forests of Casanare and Cundinamarca Departments between 393–471 m elev. and apparently is endemic to Colombia. This species has been collected with fruits in May and June.

Conservation:—Although this species has been collected in two different Colombian Departments, it is only known for two specimens and no additional collections have been found; then, the conservation status of E. melocactoides is assessed here as Data Deficient, or DD, following IUCN Red List criteria ( IUCN 2019).

Etymology:—The specific epithet of the new species refers to the resemblance of its fruits to some species of Melocactus Link & Otto (1827: 417 ; Cactaceae ), particularly to young individuals of Melocactus guanensis Xhonneux & Fern. Alonso (in Fernández-Alonso & Xhonneux 2002: 359) and Melocactus pescaderensis Xhonneux & Fern. Alonso (in Fernández-Alonso & Xhonneux 2002: 362).

Affinities:— Eugenia melocactoides is apparently related to E. multicostata from Brazil, specially to E. multicostata var. multicostata ; both species are compared in the diagnosis.

Paratypes:— COLOMBIA. Casanare: Aguazul , “vereda Cupiagua, predio El Englobe en inmediaciones del Centro de Producción de Fluidos (CPF-Cupiagua)”, 5°13’02.27’’N, 72°35’57.00’’W, 471 m, 23 June 2017 (fr.), C GoogleMaps . Díaz-Pérez, P. Gil-L., J. Gil-N., J. Olaya-A., W. Bravo-P., N. Camargo, D. Hernández, V . Alvarado-F., D. Moreno & D. Caro 2186 ( UPTC!) .


University of Copenhagen


Universidad del Valle


Universidad de Antioquia


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


Universidad Pedogógica y Tecnológica de Colombia